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June 7, 2016 — California Primary Election
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Solano County
Measure H Ordinance - Majority Approval Required

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Election Results


42,120 votes yes (44.29%)

52,982 votes no (55.71%)

100% of precincts reporting (165/165).

Shall the people of Solano County enact a one-half percent sales tax for general governmental purposes such as maintenance and repair of local streets and roads, pothole repairs, road safety projects, senior and disabled mobility and other essential services within the seven cities and unincorporated area for 5 years with annual audits made available to the public showing how all revenue was spent the previous year?

What is this proposal?

Measure Details — Official information about this measure





Impartial analysis / Proposal

Solano County Counsel Dennis Bunting



The County of Solano has proposed a general transactions and use tax (sales tax) of one-half of one cent per dollar (0.50%). The tax would be levied for no more than five years unless extended by the voters.

State law authorizes the County to levy a general sales tax if the ordinance proposing the tax is approved by a two-thirds vote of all members of the Board of Supervisors and the tax is approved by a majority of the qualified voters of the entire county voting in the election. The Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the tax on February 9, 2016. If a majority of the voters in the County who vote on this measure vote “Yes,” the measure will pass and the sales tax will be levied.

The estimated annual revenue generated by this general tax, which is listed on the ballot in the Fiscal Impact Statement, would be deposited into the General Fund and would be available for general governmental purposes, including maintaining and repairing local streets and roads, repairing potholes, implementing road safety projects, addressing senior and disabled mobility issues and other essential services. The revenue from the tax would be annually appropriated by the Board of Supervisors for general governmental purposes. This measure does not restrict the use of the tax revenue to any specific purpose.

The tax would be paid in addition to the current sales tax. Like the current sales tax, the tax would be imposed on all retailers in the incorporated and unincorporated territory of the County for the selling of tangible personal property, subject to certain exemptions and exclusions identified in the measure.

An independent citizens’ oversight committee would review the receipt and expenditures of the tax revenue, including the County’s annual independent audit, in conjunction with the County’s budget process. The committee may make recommendations to the Board of Supervisors regarding expenditures from the tax.

If approved, the tax would take effect immediately on June 7, 2016 and become operative on October 1, 2016. The tax will terminate in five years unless a majority of voters reauthorize the tax at a subsequent election.

Respectfully submitted,

Solano County Counsel Dennis Bunting

[EC § 9160] 

Financial effect

Elections Code section 13119




Rate of tax to be levied:1/2 of 1 percent (0.50%)
Amount of money to be raised annually:  $33,703,000 (estimated)

Duration of the tax: 5 years 

Published Arguments — Arguments for and against the ballot measure

Arguments FOR



Arguments FOR


Measure H will provide short-term funding that will be directed to our local cities for streets and roads repair in your neighborhood. All revenue raised by this measure is required by law to stay in Solano County.

Together, Measure H and Measure G will fix our local streets and roads, improve road safety, and support transportation for seniors and people with disabilities.

Measure H is the safe, reliable, temporary funding we need and includes the following public protections:

  •   It expires in 5 years

  •   No funds will be spent without approval from a citizens’ oversight committee

  •   All funds must be spent in accordance with the authorized purpose (Measure


  •   Annual audits of all expenditures will be published publicly

  •   All revenue will be kept in our local communities and can’t be taken by the


    Measure G directs all funds raised by Measure H to be used to fix potholes, repair and maintain local streets and roads, improve road safety, and provide transportation for seniors and people with disabilities.

    The Solano 2014 Annual Pothole Report shows that 50% of local streets and roads are in poor or at risk condition and are getting worse. Due to cuts in state funding, Solano County has less than half the amount of money needed to maintain our roads and not enough funding to improve them.

    To address this urgent need, the mayors of Benicia, Dixon, Fairfield, Rio Vista, Suisun City, Vacaville, and Vallejo requested that Measure H be placed on the ballot to provide the funding they need to fix roads and improve road safety.

    We urge you to join us and vote YES on Measure H.


Supervisor Erin Hannigan

Supervisor Jim Spering

Supervisor John Vasquez

Supervisor Linda Seifert

 Supervisor Skip Thompson 

Arguments AGAINST



Building and maintaining roadways is a major function of local governments. City streets are the responsibility of each city. Roads outside cities are the responsibility of the County. Adequate funding should be in every agency’s budget. Solano’s cities and the county have neglected their responsibilities for too long! This proposed five year one-half percent countywide sales tax increase has us taxpayers covering their negligence.

Relying on a temporary tax to solve a long-standing problem is not responsible. The County admits that funds budgeted for road maintenance have never met the actual needs.

Furthermore, temporary taxes almost always wind up becoming permanent taxes. We’ve been there. But not again.

This is a General Tax. Revenues can and will be used by cities and the county for anything they want. There is no way to guarantee it will be spent on roads. The accompanying Advisory Measure is just that advisory -- a “feel good” ploy with absolutely no teeth.

Previous general sales tax measures presented to the public for purposes such as road conditions, pothole repair, maintenance of streets, medians, and streetlights, have been passed and are still in effect in several Solano cities: Benicia 1%, Fairfield 1%, Vacaville .25%, and Vallejo 1%. Measure H would add an additional .5% on top of those existing taxes. Californians are already taxed 69 cents per gallon in Federal and State gas taxes. Isn’t that enough?

Each city and the County should be placing a special tax on their ballots, just for streets and roads. That’s the honest way.

Why is this general tax on the ballot? Simple. A general tax is easier to pass, requiring only a majority vote. And by promising cities a cut of the money without doing any of the work, every city council backs it.

Vote NO on Measure H. 

Murray Bass Columnist

Cathy Rich Legislative Analyst

John F Takeuchi

Shirley Colleen Britton 

Cental Solano Citizens Taxpayers Group

Replies to Arguments FOR



In 2013-14, Solano County residents paid over $2.5 BILLION in federal and state income tax, property tax and sales tax. And that doesn’t even count the amount we paid in utility taxes, DMV fees, Federal and State gas taxes, payments on bonds or special districts, etc.

Many of the taxes we pay are intended specifically for transportation projects like the 69.2 cents we pay per gallon of gasoline or the half percent sales tax of the 7.625 percent we pay in state sales tax. Many cities in Solano also charge an additional one quarter to one percent sales tax. Most promised to fix our streets and potholes with those revenues.

You want to know the truth about Measure H?

Truth is Solano County and its cities would be better served by working together to receive more of a share of federal and state transportation dollars by working with their legislative delegations.

Truth is the Citizens Oversight Committee is advisory at best and if you read Section 11-715 (d), it specially states, in part: “...the committee’s responsibilities shall not include decision-making on spending priorities...nor shall it direct County staff or officials.”

Truth is all sales taxes are regressive to the total economy--they hit lower income households harder than they do those with high incomes.

Truth is higher sales taxes mean less money to local merchants as people begin to shop in neighboring counties with lower sales tax or shop more on the internet.

Now you know the truth. Vote NO. 

Replies to Arguments AGAINST



Solano County residents have made it clear that fixing our local streets and roads is their top transportation priority. We agree and take this responsibility very seriously.

How are we supposed to do this without funding? We have lost over 25% of funding from the state a cut of more than $5 million. We are doing everything we can to fix our local streets and roads, but we need more funding.

All funds raised by Measure H will be directed by Measure G for local street and road repair, fixing potholes, road safety, and transportation for seniors and people with disabilities.

Measure H will expire in 5 years. All the revenue generated will stay right here in Solano County to fix our local roads none of these local funds can be cut or taken by the state. All funds will be spent in accordance with Measure G fixing our local streets and roads, improving road safety, and supporting transportation for seniors and people with disabilities. Audits of funding will be published annually.

We support Measure G and Measure H because together they will give us the tools we need to repair our local streets and roads. Half of our local streets and roads are already in poor or at risk condition. This hurts local businesses and residents. Measure H will provide the funding we need to fix our local streets and improve safety.

Join us and vote YES on Measure H.

Benicia Mayor Elizabeth Patterson Dixon Mayor Jack Batchelor Fairfield Mayor Harry Price Vacaville Mayor Len Augustine Vallejo Mayor Osby Davis 

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